Sir Paul McCartney has led tributes to the late Wings guitarist Denny Laine – calling him “an outstanding vocalist and guitar player".
The Beatles icon shared an emotional message with fans after news broke on Tuesday (05.12.23) his fellow musician – who co-wrote Paul’s ‘Mull of Kintyre’ hit – had died aged 79 after a lung cancer fight.
Paul said on Instagram alongside a picture of him and Denny playing together in Wings: “I am very saddened to hear that my ex-bandmate, Denny Laine, has died.
“I have many fond memories of my time with Denny: from the early days when The Beatles toured with the Moody Blues.
“Our two bands had a lot of respect for each other and a lot of fun together. Denny joined Wings at the outset. He was an outstanding vocalist and guitar player.
“His most famous performance is probably ‘Go Now’ an old Bessie Banks song which he would sing brilliantly.
“He and I wrote some songs together the most successful being ‘Mull of Kintyre’ which was a big hit in the Seventies.”
Paul went on to say: “We had drifted apart but in recent years managed to reestablish our friendship and share memories of our times together.
“Denny was a great talent with a fine sense of humour and was always ready to help other people. He will be missed by all his fans and remembered with great fondness by his friends.
“I send my condolences and best wishes to his wife, Elizabeth and family. “Peace and love Denny.
“It was a pleasure to know you. We are all going to miss you. Love, Paul.”
Born Brian Hines in Tyseley, Birmingham, in October 1944, Denny had been a member of Birmingham-formed The Moody Blues during the 1960s.
He then joined Paul and Linda McCartney in the Wings line-up in 1971 before departing the band in the 1980s.
Denny also appeared in the famous ‘Band on the Run’ picture along with Sir Paul, Linda and Sir Michael Parkinson.
His wife Elizabeth Hines confirmed his death with an Instagram post that said: “My darling husband passed away peacefully early this morning. I was at his bedside, holding his hand as I played his favourite Christmas songs for him.
“He’s been singing Christmas songs the past few weeks and I continued to play Christmas songs while he’s been in ICU on a ventilator this past week.
“He and I both believed he would overcome his health setbacks and return to the rehabilitation centre and eventually home.”
She added about Denny’s fight with illness: “Unfortunately, his lung disease, Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD), is unpredictable and aggressive; each infection weakened and damaged his lungs. He fought everyday. He was so strong and brave, never complained.
“All he wanted was to be home with me and his pet kitty, Charley, playing his gypsy guitar… Denny was so very thankful to all of you who sent him so much love, support and the many kind words during these past few months of his health crisis-it brought him to tears.
“I thank you all for sending both of us love and support. It was my absolute honour and privilege to not only be his wife, but to care for him during his illness and vulnerability.”
Thanking the medical staff who looked after her husband in his final months, Elizabeth said: “My world will never be the same. Denny was an amazingly wonderful person, so loving and sweet to me. He made my days colourful, fun and full of life-just like him.
“Thank you sweetie for loving me, for all the laughter, friendship, fun and for asking me to be your wife. I will love you forever.
“Please give Denny’s friends and family the time and privacy needed as we grieve our loss.”